I don’t think I had that great of a need for baptism when I was 13. Should I get baptized again?
Is it a biblical fact that those in the Bible recorded as being baptized are all in the context of being fully matured adults? If yes, is there any significance to this in regards to baptism?
I was baptized at the early age of 13. I understood why, so thus I believe all was done in good faith. And it really did ease my conscience towards God. But now that I look back I wonder if that age was too early. I mean, how many sins can a ‘typical’ 13-year-old be accountable for at that early age? I understand one sin is already enough to cause a person to be forever lost lest he takes the rope Christ throws him. However, it’s not like I was engaged in a full-blown lifestyle of sin. Now that I’m older (26), and exposed to many more ways to sin, it almost seems like baptism is a tad bit more appropriate for mature adults? A typical 13-year-old teenager doesn’t look at his life and conclude that he’s lived a full life, grown into an adult, sinned a great number of times, and is in dire need of a savior so that he can be reborn and start all over. The illustration Jesus gives about being born again seems to be way more fitting for a fully mature adult. I don’t know. After thinking of this sometimes I kind of get the feeling I need to get baptized again, not because my first one was no good, but kind of like the baptismal John was giving into repentance. What do you say?
Yup, you're getting older and wiser. You've doubled your age since you became a Christian and realize now how little you knew then. But that doesn't mean that what you knew then was insufficient to commit your life to Christ. Nor is the amount of sin you need to repent of a prerequisite for baptism.
Most of the examples directly mentioned in the New Testament are of adults. But when, say Cornelius or the Philippian jailer, were baptized, it was they and their household. We don't know the age ranges of those household members. However, we distinctly know of one young man who was baptized: Timothy.
When Paul wrote to Timothy and said, "Let no one despise your youth" (I Timothy 4:12). Timothy was still considered young when this letter was written, though an exact age cannot be determined. Even in the second letter, Paul warns Timothy to "Flee also youthful lusts" (II Timothy 2:22). Timothy started traveling with Paul in Acts 16, about A.D. 50. He was already a Christian before Paul met him. "And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek" (Acts 16:1). I Timothy was written about A.D. 63. and II Timothy was written about A.D. 67. We have a span of at least 17 years when Timothy was still relatively young. If we say that Timothy was 29 when II Timothy was written, that means he was a Christian before the age of 12!
We don't know the exact age, but the point is that your contention that only full adults were baptized is certainly not true in the case of Timothy.
All we really have is that you more deeply appreciate the commitment you made in your youth. You see that it is harder than you may have thought at the beginning, but you are no less certain of your need to continue on. What I notice is that you don't have a particular reason to doubt your conversion when you were young. You are only going on a vague feeling. Doubt is a weapon of Satan. You did the right thing for the right reason. How you behaved between then and now doesn't change what you did then. You might not have known the full scope of what you were getting into, but that is true of most new Christians -- even the adults. As you grow older you realize the gravity of the situation and the need for commitment and effort. So get busy with your service.
Wow! Amazing. That is an extremely excellent point! I never realized that about Timothy, but that certainly settles that.
I don't know how you do it, but it seems you always catch some really small, critical detail that I miss in my observations. Thank you so much for writing and for pointing that out, seriously. I appreciate it.
And now, back to service I go.
When you double your age again (getting close to my age), you'll probably be doing the same thing.